Scientists say cost of sucking carbon from thin air could tumble

The burning of fossil fuels such as oil gas and coal releases carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere causing the planet to warm to levels that cannot be explained by natural variability

Maybe we can afford to suck CO2 out of the sky after all

IMAGINE DRIVING UP to your local gas station and being able to choose between regular, premium, or carbon-free gasoline.

"The carbon dioxide generated via direct air capture can be combined with sequestration for carbon removal, or it can enable the production of carbon-neutral hydrocarbons, which is a way to take low-priced carbon-free power sources like solar or wind and channel them into fuels that can be used to decarbonize the transportation sector", explained Professor Keith.

What's more, the company has developed a process to transform the captured Carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel.

Those energy inputs would put the cost of atmospheric carbon capture at up to $1,000 per tonne of CO2, meaning it would be far more economic to simply reduce carbon emissions. In the journal Joule, the team outlined the material and engineering costs of their system - the first time the costs of a commercial direct-air-capture process have been published. The company used existing industrial processes to scale up and reduce costs. Last year, Swiss company Climeworks opened one of the first commercial DAC plants near Zurich, which is made up of a roof-mounted facility that captures Carbon dioxide from the air and pipes it into a nearby greenhouse.

Scientists say the high cost of collecting greenhouse gases from the air in the upper atmosphere may be reduced by new technologies that can help fight climate change. That was far too much to be useful in sucking large amounts of Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. If you think about it, it doesn't make much of a difference in keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees C when you think about how the world burns just enough fossil fuels to add to 40 billion tonnes of CO2.

United Nations reports indicate that governments may have to deploy such novel technologies this century to remove carbon from nature and bury it to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The study implies that falling costs of solar power could produce hydrogen affordably from electrolysis without producing an excessive increase in CO2.

However, plans to capture Carbon dioxide directly from the air have been regarded as somewhat more substantial - essentially mirroring the actions of trees. CE has a pilot plant in Squamish, British Columbia, which has been removing Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere since 2015.

Jan Wurzbacher, a founder of Climeworks, said more and more governments are likely to jack up penalties on carbon emissions to limit floods, storms and rising seas in coming years, making the technology more viable.

Keith is also the founder of the company Carbon Engineering, which is a Canada-based enterprise for clean fuels and CO2 capture. Numerous so-called negative emissions technologies exist, including growing perennial plants and trees to make biofuels, and sequestering carbon in soils. No U.S. atate has joined in yet, but Washington State may be the first to charge a $15 carbon pollution fee if a new ballot measure passes. His process, though, could provide the means to adapt to climate change for activities that are hard to do without producing Carbon dioxide emissions, such as jet travel and producing concrete.

"I'm excited by the project". That plant uses hydropower to pull the Carbon dioxide from the air and convert it to a synthetic fuel they hope can compete with traditional fossil fuels. "These guys actually have something you can measure", says Stephen Pacala, an ecologist with Princeton University who is chairing a panel on carbon removal technologies for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

"This same method can also be seen as ". a way to take low-priced carbon-free power sources like solar or wind and channel them into fuels that can be used to decarbonize the transportation sector", he explained. "That seems like a lot, but today's airline industry is larger", Lackner said.

This type of fuel can be produced at a low cost and will not raise the prices to consumers at the pump, and the result will be completely carbon-neutral fuel. "CO2 is a weak acid, so it wants to be in the base", said Keith. The company is also looking to license their technology. And a license to their tech.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments.

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